We are beginning to get several reports about Fire Blight in Pear Trees.
Fire Blight is a problem in Apple, crabapple, pear, raspberry, blackberry, and pyracantha in Oklahoma.
Disease symptoms first appear when trees are blooming. The leaves on blighted terminals turn brown to black and usually remain firmly attached to the infected twig throughout the growing season. Blighted terminals usually take on a shephard's crook appearance.
Sanitation - The first step in a good control program starts with removal of all infected tissue as soon as it appears. During pruining activities, all cutting tools should be disinfected after each cut to prevent the spread of bacteria (use denatured alcohol or 10% bleach).
Cultivar Selection - No known cultivar of apple, pear, pyracantha, flowering crabapple, cotoneaster, quince, hawthorne, or rose is completely resistant to Fire Blight. However, some cultivars of these plants are more resistant or tolerant of Fire Blight than others. Therefore, if Fire Blight has been a problem in the past it may be beneficial to consider planting less susceptible cultivars.
Chemical Control - Several types of bacterial formulations, in conjunction with the previously described cultural practices, may be effective in prevention of the blossom blight and terminal blight stages of Fire Blight.
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